New Zealand – Tax return – The process

17 April 2018

If there is a time of year when we are a little lost in New Zealand is the month of April! Indeed it’s during this month that we can make a tax return request to recover the tax surplus that we paid.

Attention, if you have at least two jobs the declaration is mandatory! If you don’t do it you will have penalties.

  • Resident or not resident

For tax return, New Zealand considers that you are resident if it is more than 6 months that you are on the territory. So in practice if you are considered resident if arrived before September 31st. And you are considered non-resident if you arrived after.

As a resident you will have to fill out the IR3 form or the PTS. As a non-resident the IR3NR form. In theory !

  • Online or paper declaration

  • Check of your declared wages

To declare online your taxback you will need to go to the IRD website. Then go on “MyIR” (to create an account follow the instructions of the site).

IRD-tax return Nouvelle Zelande

In the “Account information” section click on “Salaray & wages”. Check before you make your application that all your salaries appear well, especially those of March (it is not automatic and some employers declare with a delay).

IRD-tax return Nouvelle Zelande

In many cases we are stuck on the site (which is not really done for backpackers). And that prevents us from making a statement online.

  • The declaration

To declare the tax return, in the “Account information” section click on “Money back?“, choose the year and click on “calculate”. Answer yes to the first question if you are a resident and not if you are not a resident. A priori for most cases you will answer no to all other questions.

* If you are resident:

There are two cases. Either you have just your salary to declare, you will be asked to complete then the request for PTS! Either you are self-employed or have particularities to declare (a priori if you answered yes to some questions) you will be asked to declare to complete a IR3 (be careful only late April / early May) as they probably do not have all the info. I found the link of this demo for IR3 if needed. Otherwise you can upload the paper version. ATTENTION the link is for the 2018 version! But as you can see, just change the year in the web address. You will have access to different years 😊.

In any case, if the site allows you to fill the IR3 online, you will save time! It seems that some people have a positive refund but no link to a statement of PTS or IR3 online. And if you do not have access online, do not hesitate to call them to unlock the IR3 online. Or make a paper declaration.

* If you are not resident:
The theory

You can declare your 2018 tax returns online here: IR3NR. The site will ask you for a DLN number,  priori none of us received it so we must call the number indicated:

IRD-tax return Nouvelle Zelande

You can also download the paper version here (Take the guide as well you will use it for the calculation of the sum which they must refund you). Note that you do not need the DLN number for the paper version!

In practice

When we call the IRD, they tell us that we are resident in all cases and that it will always be necessary to fill the IR3 but that it will be possible only after May 8 (or May 17, depends on of the interlocutor haha). This is completely contrary to the information found on their website.
I had (April 30th) access to the IR3 on the internet (in Account information). If you indicate during the declaration that you are not resident and there you’re blocked You can not continue the declaration … So, said that you are resident. Statement made on 03/05 and transfer made on 09/05!

My advice : Declare that you are a resident. From the moment they have all your info they should refund you anyway.

  • Refund period

The statement is to be made in April (until early July) but do not expect to receive your money immediately. Indeed you will be paid at the begining of jully only… Except a priori if you managed to make an IR3 declaration online! I made my statement on 04/05 I had the transfer on 09/05!

Si vous avez déclaré un PTS et que le montant du refund est supérieur à $600 sachez que vous aller obligatoirement devoir retourner sur votre compte en juillet pour confirmer votre PTS. Si c’est inférieur à $600 vous pouvez en théorie ne pas le faire. Cela sera fait automatiquement au bout de 15 jours. Mais si vous le faites vous aurez votre argent plus tôt. Par sécurité (au cas où) je vous conseille vivement de le faire.

  • And if I leave before april?

If you leave New Zealand before April two options:

Waiting for the next month of April but that means waiting to receive his sub AND keep an open bank account. An international sending is possible for the paper declaration. On the other hand in case of problem it is more difficult to contact them to inquire => to avoid so
Go in IRD office Few days before your departure. Indicate that you are leaving New Zealand permanently and would like to make your declaration in advance. A priori the time to receive the refund is up to 10 weeks. Here the list of IRD office

=> This means that if you work before and after March 31, you will have to make two returns, one for each fiscal year!



  • Reply Melissa Sunday May 27th, 2018 at 03:30 AM

    Merci pour ton aide !!

    • Reply Travelandrun Sunday May 27th, 2018 at 11:32 PM

      De rien avec plaisir 🙂

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